BUSINESS leaders and the Chamber Executive presented opportunities for investment in Waterford to the Indian Ambassador to Ireland H.E. Mr Sandeep Kumar.
At a recent meeting hosted by Waterford Chamber, Ambassador Kumar emphasised his commitment to seeing what opportunities there are outside the capital. “We need to build relationships and not limit economic development to Dublin. This is a region of wellness and we are keen to meet companies who are interested in doing business in India and will offer them every assistance. Similarly, we want to bring delegations from India to the region to explore what opportunities are there.”
Mr Kumar also said we need to take advantage of Brexit at this time, by communicating effectively to Indian companies the advantages of operating from Ireland, including the English language, access to Europe and the United States.
At present there are in the region of 60 Indian companies operating in Ireland and a similar number of Irish companies in India. Strengthening these links and expanding on them is to the fore of the Ambassador’s agenda as he continues his efforts to visit cities and towns around the country.
He asked for support in terms of the current delays in processing visas from India, and Gerald Hurley, CEO Waterford Chamber, assured the Ambassador they would make immediate contact with the Department of Foreign Affairs in this regard.
Chamber President Jonathan Earl welcomed the Ambassador’s visit and outlined Waterford’s current position and how with the recent announcements from the Port and Airport, that now is the time for FDI companies to begin looking at Waterford and the wider region.
Dr Ken Thomas, Head of School of Engineering at Waterford Institute of Technology, and Dr Ramesh Raghavendra, Centre Director at SEAM, spoke of the existing links between Waterford and India through the college and the opportunities for expansion in this regard.
Alan Quirke, Director of Ireland South East Development Office, and Brendan McDonald, Regional Manager IDA Ireland, offered an overview in terms of job opportunities and FDI investment, while James Flahavan of E. Flahavan & Sons and Hardik Shah, Senior Manager at TEVA Pharmaceuticals, spoke of their current trade links with India.
Mr Hurley showcased the plans for the North Quays, while also identifying the strengths of the Waterford offering in terms of pharma, ICT, agri food and life sciences and concluded the meeting by offering an overview of Waterford in terms of the exceptional work/life balance that is on offer.
During his two-day visit, Ambassador Kumar enjoyed tours of the Viking Triangle and a visit to SEAM Research Centre, among other business meetings. He also visited the Indian company Tech Mahindra, Waterford Branch, which employs in the region of 250 people.
The Ambassador proposed organising a short ‘Know India’ seminar in Waterford in association with Waterford Chamber, bringing out the success story as well as the challenges of doing business in India. Waterford Chamber has committed to working with the Ambassador in identifying investment opportunities within the region for FDI and also local companies who are keen to expand their portfolio into Indian.
Any company who is interested in same is asked to contact Gerald Hurley on (051) 872639.